Posts Tagged ‘networks’

Nina Tassler Upped to Chairman, CBS Entertainment

February 20, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Veteran CBS hit-maker Nina Tassler has been promoted to chairman of CBS Entertainment, inking a new deal with the network that extends through 2017. In her new role, Tassler will lead CBS’ programming across prime time, late night and daytime, while spearheading programming development in all genres. Tassler’s promotion comes as CBS commits to a slate of summer originals like the returning thriller

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Showtime App Goes Live on Roku — But Comcast Is Not on Board

February 18, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Showtime Networks has launched its authenticated streaming-video service on Roku broadband set-top boxes, providing access to to hundreds of hours of on-demand content and live TV feeds, available to subscribers of several major pay-TV partners. Customers of Comcast, however, are out of luck: The nation’s largest cable operator is not allowing its Showtime subs watch the... Read more

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NBC to Promote New Comedies After Final Night of Olympics, Closing Ceremony

February 17, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC is putting an end to all the post-Olympics monkey business. Two years after making viewers go ape by interrupting the closing ceremony of the London Games with a preview of the simian sitcom Animal Practice , the broadcaster is taking a much more cautious approach in Sochi. The plan for next Sunday’s prime-time broadcast is to air two hours of edited curtain-closing footage, followed by the commercial-free premiere of Growing Up Fisher . The single-camera effort stars J.K. Simmons as an irascible blind attorney and is of a piece with NBC’s move toward broad family comedies. While Fisher is certain to draw a healthy amount of sampling—at the very least, the closing ceremony should provide a lead-in of some 20 million viewers—if recent trends are any indication, the artificial buzz generated by a postevent premiere will be ephemeral at best. (After bowing out of a blockbuster 49ers-Saints game on Nov. 17 , Fox’s Almost Human the very next night plummeted more than 25 percent in the 18-49 demo.) On Saturday, immediately after the final night of competition, NBC will roll out its other new midseason comedy, About a Boy . Originally developed for Fox in 2003, Boy stars David Walton and Minnie Driver. Both shows will have their time slot premieres on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

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4 Burning Questions About CBS’ New NFL Package

February 6, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In securing the rights to the National Football League’s new Thursday night franchise , CBS effectively pulled the rug out from under its broadcast competition. While it’s no secret that NBC has been having a rough time of it on the crucial night, Fox isn’t faring all that well on fall Thursdays, either. (While its 8 p.m. time slot remains a quandary, ABC’s battery of the indefatigable Grey’s Anatomy and the smash hit Scandal make it bulletproof, especially among female viewers.) Those who were absolutely convinced that NBC would spend its way to a rights win remain perplexed by how the Peacock let itself get outflanked by CBS. But according to sources with insight into the auction, CBS’ offer, which was estimated to be around $275 million, actually did not overshadow its rivals—in fact, one suitor suggests that NBC’s bid was the highest of the five. Instead, the network’s dominance on Thursday nights and its willingness to shoulder the load on the production costs for all 16 games (this includes the eight telecasts that will run on NFL Network in the second half of the season) gave CBS the edge. And while the impact of erecting another broadcast NFL tent pole will be significant, CBS faces some uncertainty as it plans its fall schedule. Here are five of the biggest questions facing the network as of today: 1) What’s going to happen to The Big Bang Theory? It’s a ratings monster and generates tremendous amounts of ad sales revenue , but the endearingly nerdy sitcom’s 8 p.m. start time is likely to overlap CBS’ pre-game show. (NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football games kick off at 8:29 p.m. ET.) So, while CBS could just as soon bench The Big Bang Theory until Nov. 6, it’s more likely to shift the show to Monday night in the slot currently occupied by the departing How I Met Your Mother

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New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine Come Back Down to Earth

February 6, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For all the hype afforded it, the Super Bowl does a pretty lousy job at series promotion. According to Nielsen fast national data, the two shows that aired immediately after Super Bowl XLVIII failed to capitalize on their time in the national spotlight. Two nights after delivering a dizzying 26.3 million viewers and an 11.4 rating among adults 18-49, Fox’s New Girl sobered up, drawing just 3.48 million viewers and a 1.6 in the demo. The latter number ties a series low for New Girl, now in its third season on Fox. Lead-out Brooklyn Nine-Nine faced a similar letdown in the 9:30 p.m. slot, averaging 3.22 million viewers and a 1.4 in the dollar demo. The antic workplace comedy scared up 15.1 million viewers and a 6.9 rating in its post-Super Bowl slot. That network series fail to catch fire after landing the plumiest of assignments is nothing new. In fact, the last show to really get a lift from a post-Super Bowl position was ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy . After drawing 37.9 million viewers and a 13.5 in the demo following Super Bowl XL (2006), the hospital drama returned the following Sunday to a sturdy 25.4 million viewers and a 9.1 in the demo, up a whopping 38 percent from its most recent regularly-scheduled episode (6.6). Last year , CBS’ Elementary improved by just one-tenths of a ratings point after its post-Super Bowl episode, which was bumped out of prime time by a lengthy blackout delay. The 2012 example was a bit of an outlier; Season 2 of NBC’s The Voice debuted directly out of the Big Game. The previous year, Fox’s Glee inched up just two-tenths of a ratings point versus its most recent pre-Super Bowl airdate. Elsewhere, it was business as usual Tuesday night, as CBS put up its usual huge numbers with NCIS (19.5 million viewers and a 3.1 adults 18-49 rating) and each show in ABC’s all-new lineup was more or less flat versus their respective previous first-run airings. NBC wrapped the 15th cycle of The Biggest Loser with a season-high 7.45 million viewers; all told, the 15-episode slate averaged 6.52 million viewers and a 1.9 in the demo, down 17 percent from last winter’s 2.3 rating. Tonight marks the last time you’ll see much in the way of original content on the broadcast networks for the next two-and-a-half weeks, as ABC and CBS effectively are sitting out the period that coincides with NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics . (In other words, both nets will practically air wall-to-wall repeats until Feb. 24.) Fox is taking a more aggressive counterprogramming tack, airing new installments of American Idol in its regular Wednesday and Thursday night slots, while prepping first-run episodes of Almost Human, The Following , Dads, New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

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With NFL Win, CBS Lands an Even Bigger Bang

February 5, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, CBS appears to have outbid its broadcast competition for the rights to the new Thursday night NFL package. While NBC was thought to be the lead dog in the hunt for the eight-game parcel, CBS emerged the victor. The broadcaster will air Thursday night games in September and October, all of which will be simulcast on NFL Network.

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PrecisionDemand Hires Former NBCU Exec Debbie Reichig as CRO

January 31, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Debbie Reichig, formerly of NBCUniversal, ClearChannel and CourtTV, as well as recent stints consulting for The Weather Channel and AMC Networks, has landed a new gig at John Mandel's analytics firm PrecisionDemand . The company, run by former Neilsenite Mandel, handles clients looking for more accurate targeting than traditional demo buys using client data and purchasing information. "They get so close to what we've all been looking for in television for a long time," Reichig told Adweek. "It's third-party data that increases the accuracy in targeting of a television buy substantially." Reichig said she felt like her career—which has included more than one stint as a researcher—"had been leading up to this point" and that she was looking forward to taking the product to market as PrecisionDemand tries to expand. PrecisionDemand's pitch is about minimizing waste: "Advertisers are already spending a lot of money; we want to help them to spend it better," Reichig said. "If you have a product that enhances television targeting, there are defintely applications for advertisers and there are definitely applications for networks." The exec has made headlines in the past by guaranteeing levels of engagement during her tenure at TruTV; now she'll be guaranteeing purchaser behavior with PrecisionDemand.

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Yada, Yada, Yada: Seinfeld Reunion in the Works

January 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Jerry Seinfeld on Thursday confirmed that he and Larry David are working on a one-off Seinfeld reunion and that the finished product will be released “very, very soon.” Speaking to the hosts of the Boomer & Carton show on WFAN, the comic fielded a number of queries about a Jan. 13 photo in which he and Jason Alexander were seen walking outside Tom’s Restaurant on 112th and Broadway. The diner was used for establishing shots throughout Seinfeld’s NBC run. While he wasn’t entirely forthcoming, Seinfeld did drop a few hints about what he and his old confreres have been up to. He specifically said that the filming wasn’t related to a Super Bowl spot or an episode of his Crackle series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee . “It’s neither,” Seinfeld said. “But it’s not not those things either. It’s a secret project.” Seinfeld went on to reveal that other characters from the powerhouse sitcom were involved in the project, although he wouldn’t identify a studio or a distributor. When asked if Alexander was surprised to be asked to reprise his role of the “short, stocky, slow-witted bald man” George Costanza , Seinfeld chuckled to himself. “Was Jason surprised? No, he remembers that he played that character for nine years,” he cracked. “He was not surprised that he was asked to play George.” After the fifth question, the comic joked that his interlocutor was “really Mike Wallace-ing me here.” He added that the finished project is “a short-ish form” effort, noting that its running time is longer than 60 seconds. Whatever form the finished product takes, it’s probably a one-shot deal. In any event, Seinfeld fans should keep their eyes peeled, as the project will be released “very, very soon.” In addition to the Tom’s Restaurant exteriors, the shoot spread out to other locations. Jerry’s Upper West Side apartment was not one of them; in all likelihood, the Studio City set was dismantled shortly after the series wrapped in May 1998. Seinfeld first dropped hints that he was working with David on Jan. 6, during a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session . “We wrote this script for this thing that you will eventually see but I can’t reveal what it is at this time,” Seinfeld said during the online Q&A. “All I can do is tell you is that it’s big, huge, gigantic.” At its peak, Seinfeld averaged 34.1 million viewers and a staggering 18.0 in the dollar demo in NBC’s Thursday 9 p.m. time slot

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Yada, Yada, Yada: Seinfeld Reunion in the Works

January 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Jerry Seinfeld on Thursday confirmed that he and Larry David are working on a one-off Seinfeld reunion and that the finished product will be released “very, very soon.” Speaking to the hosts of the Boomer & Carton show on WFAN, the comic fielded a number of queries about a Jan. 13 photo in which he and Jason Alexander were seen walking outside Tom’s Restaurant on 112th and Broadway. The diner was used for establishing shots throughout Seinfeld’s NBC run. While he wasn’t entirely forthcoming, Seinfeld did drop a few hints about what he and his old confreres have been up to. He specifically said that the filming wasn’t related to a Super Bowl spot or an episode of his Crackle series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee . “It’s neither,” Seinfeld said. “But it’s not not those things either. It’s a secret project.” Seinfeld went on to reveal that other characters from the powerhouse sitcom were involved in the project, although he wouldn’t identify a studio or a distributor

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The Number of Blacked-Out NFL Games Dropped From 16 Last Season to Just 2

January 28, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fans and policy advocates fighting to end the NFL’s sports blackout rule may have already won—even if the rule is still on the books. The number of blacked-out football games went from 16 last season to just two this year. This, ahead of an expected FCC decision in the spring to drop the rule that prevents a cable or satellite service from airing a game blacked out on a local station. Also, a bill introduced in Congress seeks to gut the NFL’s antitrust exemptions. David Goodfriend, founder and chairman of the Sports Fan Coalition —which first petitioned the FCC in 2011, culminating in the agency’s unanimous vote last December to propose ending the rule—thinks the NFL is going out of its way to keep lawmakers at bay. “You could argue that’s an accident of fate, but I’m going to take credit here,” said Goodfriend. “The FCC proceeding has shined a big, bright light on this practice. Voter indignation is tough to fight, and if you’re on the receiving end, that’s pretty compelling.” The FCC rule does not, however, guarantee blackouts will disappear, as other laws stand in the way of a pay TV service importing coverage from outside a blacked-out market. It won’t change the NFL’s contracts with the networks, which extend to 2022, and could push more sports to pay TV. But once the FCC acts, Congress may have the ammunition it needs to take away the dispensations it gave the NFL 40 years ago to negotiate for the teams.

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